The ecological footprint is used to preach saving, restriction and renunciation. An instrument of the would-be eco-dictatorship that stands in the way of world-wide prosperity.Let's look at the article in Wikipedia. The whole ecological footprint is the area to grow food, other crops, and the area of growing forest that would theoretically be needed to sequester the CO2 emissions.
You thought it was all there? No, it only includes the area of crops and how much growing forest would theoretically be needed to absorb the CO2.
You thought the effort to extract raw materials in mines was in there? No, it only shows how much fossil energy was burned to get the raw materials in the mine. Raw material extraction using renewable energy makes 0 footprint.
You thought the effort to produce your car was in there? No, it only shows how much fossil energy was used to produce their car. If only renewable energy is used in the production, then the footprint is 0.
You thought even photovoltaics had a footprint? No, that's just the fossil energy to produce it. If you switch production to renewable energy, then the footprint is 0.
You thought only local food because transportation makes such a big footprint? No, if the transportation is done with renewable energy, then the footprint is 0.
In the overall balance, freight transport by rail calculates around 60 Wh per ton and km. 1 kg of tomatoes from southern Spain to us is about 2500 km with 150 Wh of electricity consumption. Even if you transport 500 kg of vegetables from South Spain by rail per year, it is only 75 kWh. That generates 1/2 m² of photovoltaic.
You thought you had to keep developing countries in poverty to keep humanity's footprint from growing even more? No, everyone can live in prosperity, we just need to switch to renewable energy and electric mobility. We need to apply the 3 instead of 300 tons principle instead of continuing to sacrifice to the "ecological footprint" bogeyman.